Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for January 14, 2022! I suppose this was Wordle’s week in that everyone and their dog were tweeting their scores and results. A little camaraderie for those of you who aren’t good at the game: I’m trash too. And since I still get paid to write, I refuse to connect “Good at Wordle” with “Good at Words!” – Alex

PS Speaking of words, the Equity team had a blast this week, in case you wanted a chatty dive through recent startup events.

The BestFitnessBands Top 3

  • Bolt raises $355 million as online box office war continues: Bolt (not this bolt) has raised a massive new round of capital that pushes its valuation to $11 billion. Bolt provides an online checkout solution for other businesses. It competes in several ways with Fast and, who just raised $1 billion at a valuation of $40 billion. You could argue that there is a division between the players in terms of where they are in the world of online payment and checkout, but the overlap between the competitors seems to be becoming more material. (About a year ago, we called the online check market a war; the battle continues.)
  • Major tech companies subpoenaed by Congress: As the investigation into the January 6 uprising continues here in the US, major tech companies are caught up in the hunt for answers. YouTube (Alphabet), Facebook and Instagram (Meta), Reddit and Twitter seem to be in the firing line.
  • The only thing that glitters is no legitimate trading volume: As the market for non-replaceable tokens — digital signatures on the blockchain that often refer to assets stored on the traditional web, such as images — heats up, we monitor the various exchanges where trading takes place. . What we have learned recently is that not all trading volume is what it first appears.


  • Daasity raises $15 million to help businesses leverage e-comm data: Daasity is a startup that helps customers experience their information from various e-commerce platforms (Amazon, Shopify, etc.) based on insights from a historical performance.” writes BestFitnessBands. The company’s new round of financing was a Series A, led by VMG Catalyst.
  • Commercial EVs for the Indian Market: Amazon is working with a number of companies on EVs for its global delivery network, including EVage. The Indian company just raised $28 million for an electric truck-van-box that, I must admit, is quite attractive – provided you’re the kind of person who likes brutalist architecture.
  • In the cannabis labor market, startups are growing: BestFitnessBands notes in this story that labor platforms are being built to help certain industries with hiring. The healthcare market, for example, has a few. And now the cannabis industry too, thanks to Vangst, who just raised a $19 million Series B.

Fintech and insurtech innovation in Brazil will take off amid regulatory headwinds

Nubank’s current headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Image Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

Regulation is often seen as a barrier to innovation in most parts of the developing world.

But in Brazil, the Central Bank is hailed by investors and fintech founders alike as a tailwind for bringing banking to the masses.

“The Brazilian Central Bank’s open banking initiatives are definitely a headwind for fintech innovation,” Amy Cheetham of Costanoa Ventures told BestFitnessBands.

In an in-depth market analysis, Anna Heim examines the growth of Brazilian fintech in the wake of Brazil’s open banking initiatives and how insurtech is poised to capitalize on it.

(BestFitnessBands+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)

Big Tech Inc.

Today, we’ve got a grip on transit-themed Big Tech news, followed by, some more, some European legal news about a major US tech company!

  • Self-driving taxis work to merge into China’s fast lane: Our very own Rita Liao did everyone a favor by writing a deep dive into China’s self-driving taxi market. As she writes, it seems that every week “news arrives that another major player has been given the green light to launch a new pilot program or small-scale service” in the country. What do the individual news events add up? To discover!
  • And speaking of self-driving cars, Waymo and JB Hunt, a transportation company, are turning their pilot into a long-term program. There is a shortage of truck drivers in the US, which means that unassisted trucks can be a major problem in the country.
  • Here’s a review of a car that no one at BestFitnessBands can afford: Let me be clear, I want a Bentley Continental GT Speed. I would also settle for a standard Bentley Continental. The fact that Kirsten Korosec, our enterprising transportation editor, got to test one is enviable. In fact, if you have over a quarter of a million dollars laying around and need 12 cylinders, this might be the car for you.
  • Meta faces class-action lawsuit in UK: A class-action lawsuit filed at the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal in London seeks the US social networking giant to dock approximately $3.1 billion for abusing its market power in the UK. UK. Let’s see if this is going anywhere.

BestFitnessBands Experts

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Image Credits: SEAN GLADWELL / Getty Images

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